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Andrew's Secret - Part VIII

06/01/2005 - --By Julie Mizell


Rita Walsh
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Jonathan tried very hard to appear unconcerned as the men in black entered the room. He recognized both. One was still holding the strange black box with the keyboard. The other had the gun. Jonathan didn't see the third man, the one with the red hair.

"You are Jonathan Moore, are you not?" the one with the black box asked. Jonathan wasn't sure if he should say "yes" or "no", so he held his tongue.

" I can tell he's going to be a difficult one." The man looked over his shoulder at the other. Then his face brightened. "Can I box him?"

The other sighed in frustrated surrender. "You and your toys! Yes, box the guy."

"I just love Dr. Maximus' inventions!" He turned to Jonathan. "Would you like to know what this will do?" He was strapping the metal square to Jonathan's arm. Jonathan remained straight-faced and firm. "Guess not! Well, you'll find out soon enough." The man typed a few keys, detached the chain and left the room. Jonathan stared at the little metal square. He tried to pull it off, but it wouldn't come. There were no visible forces holding it there, but it was as firmly set as the linoleum floor. Jonathan waited with bated breath, expecting it to explode or something, but nothing happened.

Jonathan didn't remember ever being so nervous in all his life. What was worse, he had no idea what to expect. All he knew was that something was about to happen. He found himself jumping at the slightest sound. But nothing could have prepared him for the next turn of events. The large metal door opened and, again, Jonathan was met with the same two men. He momentarily forgot his resolution to remain silent and said, "Nothing's happening," motioning to the little metal square. Immediately, he winced and chided himself for being so dumb.

His words did not appear to have any ramifications, however, because all the man did was remove the square. Jonathan was relieved, but suspicious. His curiosity got the better of him and he spoke again. "Why are you doing that?"

The man sighed as if Jonathan was incredibly stupid. "Mr. Moore, this device was designed by a brilliant scientist. It is used to get people to talk. We decided it should be employed in the hopes of finding more information about Elijah Cohen. It hadn't kicked in yet when we found out he was killed just a few minutes ago...drove his car over a cliff."

Jonathan felt strange in the pit of his stomach...like he was on the first big hill of a roller coaster. A million thoughts flooded his mind. That can't have been Andrew...he doesn't even have a car – and he wouldn't drive...but what if it was? We may as well say goodbye to the world as we know it.

Jonathan was snapped back to reality as the man pulled out a knife and took Jonathan's wrist. "Wait!" Jonathan said, "What are you doing?" The man stopped and looked Jonathan in the eyes. "We don't need you anymore. You were expendable to begin with. We just needed the 411 on your pal. Nice to kill two birds with one stone, though, if you know what I mean."

Andrew was scanning the street for his attacker from behind a rock, but the man was nowhere in sight...not that Andrew had much sight to begin with, and he really hadn't gotten a good look at the man, but he had to try and find him. He had to know who he was, what he wanted...

Andrew sat there for a good twenty minutes and then began to get ancy. He knew he needed to take some action, but he didn't know where to start. He finally got up and began to walk. He didn't exactly have a destination in mind, but he had to get moving.

That's when he spotted the man...not the one from the car, the man in black, with the red hair. He watched as the man climbed into the back of a small moving van. As the van began to pull away, Jonathan picked up the pursuit and, before it had built up too much speed, he jumped onto the back. He didn't know where the car was going, but he hoped it would take him to Jonathan. He knew Jonathan would be a prime target for these men. At any rate, he felt like he was making progress.

Jonathan was afraid it would come to this, knowing everything Andrew had shared, but had just been holding out the hope that they would not see him as a threat yet. He watched carefully as the man pulled his hands closer, waiting for the perfect moment. When he felt like it had arrived, he kicked the man's hand, causing him to drop the knife and lose his balance. Jonathan caught him around the neck, utilizing his handcuffs in an effort to strangle the man. The other, who stood in the doorway, pulled out his gun. "Easy there, or I'll shoot," he warned. Jonathan ignored him, knowing the man wouldn't attempt to shoot with his partner in the way, or at least, thinking so.

After a second of staring each other down, the man in the doorway shrugged. "Don't say I didn't warn you." He pulled the trigger and a little computer keyboard popped out from the top of the gun. He typed something, then tossed the gun onto the floor.

Uh-oh, oops, Jonathan thought as the gun began to change shape. The man in the doorway just stood there with an amused smile. I should have known that these guys would not use an ordinary gun. At that moment, he felt his captive go limp, so he dropped him and dashed toward the door, the gun on the floor turning as he went so that the barrel was always facing Jonathan. He bowled right through the man in the doorway, not even allowing opportunity for resistance. He found himself in a half-circle from which two hallways branched. The floor was plain, white linoleum, the walls were white, and each hall looked like it went on forever – no doors, windows or curves in sight. Lovely.

Dr. Patterson knew that he should be trying to sleep, but he just couldn't. He was busy worrying about the most wanted man in Wyoming going back into town. The doctor sighed and grabbed his cell phone from the nightstand. It was only nine o'clock, not unreasonable, considering what they were attempting to accomplish, but he wished he could know what was going on in town. He sighed again, and put his hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling. He wondered if he'd made a mistake...if Andrew was an escaped convict. By now he could have killed Jonathan and made off with his car. He could be miles away, leaving the doctor high and dry. While this story made much more sense, for some reason, Dr. Patterson didn't believe it for a second. What's more, Andrew's story was among the last he would normally have believed, but somehow, deep down inside he knew it was true. Somehow, in the vague recesses of his mind, he remembered reality, too. Some people call it "deja vu", when you think you remember something that didn't really happen. But, what if it did? he wandered. It doesn't matter what gets "erased". What's real is real, what's not is not, no matter what we think we know. He shook his head. Am I nuts or what? I'm calling Jonathan's cell to make sure he's alright.

Jonathan turned around, expecting the man he'd knocked down to be on his feet again, ready for a struggle, but to his amazement, everything was gone. The men weren't there, the gun wasn't there, the door wasn't there! No way! Jonathan thought. He ran over and pressed himself against the wall where he thought the doorway had been. He knocked. Sure enough, it sounded hollow inside. Amazing, he said to himself, as he began to closely scrutinize the area. I would have never known there was a door here.

Before he had completed his thoughts, the door opened again. He saw the one man bent over the other, but was distracted by what had become of the gun. It had grown to be about twenty times its original size, and the barrel was, of course, facing him. He whirled around to run but was faced with those two strange hallways. Where do I go? he wondered.

...continued next month

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